6 Sam’s Club Shopping Mistakes That’ll Cost You

Sam's Club Wholesale at Cuyahoga Falls stock photo
Laser1987 / iStock.com

Sam’s Club is known for its bargain bulk buys, but many shoppers don’t realize that there are even more ways to save at the warehouse giant. Not utilizing every aspect of your membership or going to the store without a plan could end up costing you.

Paying attention to the Instant Savings, pairing with cashback rewards apps, and comparing pricing can help ensure that you get the biggest bang for your buck the next time you find yourself moseying through the membership-only store. So before you head over to your neighborhood Sam’s Club, consider these six costly mistakes that are easily avoided.


The wholesaler is known for its great deals on bulk products. From snack foods to tires, you can score incredible buys on a wide variety of goods. However, bigger isn’t always better. The whole point of going to a retailer like Sam’s Club is to stock up, but if you buy too much you may run the risk of it expiring before it is used.

Anything that is perishable should be purchased in large quantities with a great deal of caution. Even pantry staples and baking supplies can expire within a year, so you want to pay close attention before buying in bulk. Always think about your family and what they actually consume before you buy, and if something is too good of a deal to pass up then consider sharing it with friends and family.

Make Your Money Work for You

Not Taking Advantage of Deals

While Sam’s Club does not take coupons from manufacturers or competitors, they do offer extensive discounts through their Instant Savings Program. Forget about clipping coupons or saving up vouchers, because the offers are automatically applied when you checkout.

The deals change throughout the year, so it is important to check your account frequently. The membership-only store also has a convenient mobile app for shoppers. Missing your favorite product while it is on a huge “Instant Savings” discount can cost you big time.

Impulse Shopping

When you go shopping at a store like Sam’s Club, you have to be prepared. Planning ahead can keep you from buying stuff you don’t need.

While it is always advisable to make a list before going grocery shopping, it may be even more essential at a wholesale warehouse. Many of the products are family-size or larger, and purchasing an item on impulse will hurt your pocketbook. Worse yet, it may go to waste. Always be aware of what you are buying and whether you will actually use it.

Failing To Compare Prices

Far too many consumers simply assume that prices at big-box retailers are less expensive than at other stores. However, the truth is that it may not be the case every time. Undoubtedly, membership-only stores like Sam’s Club have built a reputation for low prices, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around.

Make Your Money Work for You

Comparing prices can be critical to saving money. Make sure to take into consideration any coupons that you can’t use at Sam’s Club as well as other discounts that may apply.

Not Using Membership Benefits

A Sam’s Club membership comes with more than just the ability to shop at the store. Depending on which tier of membership you select, you can get free shipping, free curbside pickup, discounts at the pharmacy and optical, and much more.

Want to save even more? Look for deals on their actual membership. Generally, a base club membership costs around $50 and a plus membership costs $110. However, during certain times of the year you can store an annual membership for half off!

Not Pairing Instant Savings With Cash-Back Rewards

Last but not least, if you aren’t pairing your Instant Savings with a cash-back rewards app, you are losing out on free money. Popular apps like Ibotta give you cash back for shopping at certain retailers. Just download the app and activate offers before you shop.

It may seem like a no-brainer but many people don’t take advantage of these rewards. Ibotta isn’t the only option. There are several other companies offering gift cards and more just for buying what you were going to buy anyway.

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